The author has been a pioneer in applying psychological and educational research to the task of fighting violence through restoring pro-social values. He views the surge of violence by youth as a manifestation of a national crisis of character. Schools must join families, churches, and communities in making universal ethical values – such as respect, responsibility, honesty, compassion, and moral courage – part of the personal and collective consciences. To maximize the moral clout of schools in the face of destructive societal influences, everything in the school day must be seen as affecting values and character. This article outlines the ingredients of a comprehensive approach to character development and offers supporting research and practical examples of how these principles are being implemented in many schools.
Item: Among leading industrialized nations, the United States has by far the highest murder rate for 15- to 24-year-old males - 7 times higher than Canada's and 40 times higher than Japan's.
Item: The arrest rate for all juvenile violent crime in the United States rose more than 300% between 1965 and 1990. This trend cuts across gender: Among girls, for example, arrests for aggravated assault more than tripled (see Note).
Staggering as such statistics are, they pale by comparison to the stories of youth violence that daily fill the news:
A ninth grader in Massachusetts lured a classmate into the woods and then bludgeoned him to death with a baseball bat. He later told friends he wanted to “see what it felt like to commit a murder.”
A 13-year-old boy in a western New York village led a 4-year-old boy into the woods, sodomized him with a stick, and then strangled and beat him to death.
A 5-year-old boy who watched the movies Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street on television talked incessantly about the characters and their gory exploits, then stabbed a 2–-year-old girl 17 times with a kitchen knife.
A group of young teenage boys and girls hung four cats by their tails from a tree branch and then set fire to them. They later told police that they “had nothing else to do.”
Why this plague of youth violence, increasingly marked by a near-total lack of conscience or remorse? There are clearly many causes, including the decline of the two-parent family, especially the dramatic increase in fatherless families (the single strongest predictor of juvenile crime); poor parenting in general, resulting in millions of children growing up without even the most minimal sense of right and wrong; the physical and sexual abuse of children (accompanied by increasing frequency of older children sexually abusing younger children); the scourge of drugs; the desire for money and material things fostered by society; the desire for “respect” that leads many young people to carry weapons and use them at the slightest provocation; an across-the-board decline in respect for the value and sanctity of life, born and preborn; the saturation of ever more explicit violence in the media (television, movies, music, video games); and, I would add, the neglect of values and character education in our schools.
A crisis of character
To understand fully the problem of youth violence - and to know where to find solutions - we must look at the bigger picture. The surge in violence by young people is the most dramatic manifestation, but only one sign, of a much larger problem: a national crisis of character.
"Even top high school students,” ran a recent Associated Press story, “display a startling lack of responsibility about pregnancy, AIDS, and drunken driving,” and “78% admit to cheating in school.” The article went on to report the details of this sorry ethical profile of academically successful U.S. high school students (those with at least a B average) as revealed by a nationwide survey carried out by the organization Who's Who Among American High School Students.
Other studies have turned up similarly discouraging results:
In a survey cited by the Boston Globe, more than half of the ninth graders in an affluent Boston suburb said they saw nothing wrong with stealing a compact disc or keeping money found in a lost wallet.
Almost 6 out of 10 high school students say they have used illegal drugs, not counting alcohol.
40% of ninth graders, according to a 1992 Centers for Disease Control report, say they have already had sexual intercourse.
According to a 1989 United Nations report, U.S. teens have the highest abortion rate in the developed world (Spielman, 1989).
In a 1990 report, The Age of Indifference, the Times Mirror Center concluded: “Today’s young Americans, aged 18 to 30, know less and care less about news and public affairs than any other generation of Americans in the past 50 years” (cited in Josephson Institution of Ethics, 1990).
Students increasingly appear to be “morally illiterate,” unable even to state the Golden Rule (Graham, 1988).
The return of character education
In response to these cultural indicators of moral regression, a character education movement is beginning to emerge across the country. It is based on the belief that destructive and irresponsible youth behaviors such as violence, dishonesty, drug abuse, and sexual promiscuity have a common core: the absence of good character.
Good character can be defined as virtue, habits of moral action such as Plato's cardinal virtues of justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. In my own work as a psychologist and educator, I have found it useful to define character as having three interrelated parts: moral knowing, moral feeling, and moral action - knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good. When we think about the kind of character we want for our children, it’s clear that we want them to be able to judge what is right, care deeply about what is right, and then do what they believe to be right “even in the face of pressure from without and temptation from within.
People obviously do not automatically develop good character. Conscientious efforts must be made by schools, families, churches, and communities to help young persons understand, internalize, and act upon core ethical values such as respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness, integrity, compassion, self-control, and moral courage.
Universal moral values such as these are not mere subjective preferences (as values clarification had it), like taste in music or clothes; rather, they have objective worth and a claim on our personal and collective conscience. Moral values carry obligation; we must abide by them - be fair, honest and respectful, for example, in our dealings with others - even when we’d rather not. The validity of these moral values and their power to hold us accountable derive from the fact that they affirm our human dignity and promote the good of the individual as well as the common good. They meet the classical ethical tests of reversibility (Would you want all persons to act this way?) and universalizability (Would you want all persons to act this way in a similar situation?). They are also consistent with what we have historically understood to be the requirements of God, as expressed, for example, in the Ten Commandments.
A comprehensive approach to character
The family is the most important influence on a child's character, and schools cannot fully compensate for family failure in this area. But schools can do an enormous amount, far more than most school staff now do, or even imagine they might try to do, to develop good character in young people. In the process, school professionals also can work with parents to encourage and support them in their role as the primary moral teachers of their children.
If schools wish to maximize their moral clout in the face of the negative societal influences that surround children, they must take a comprehensive approach. This approach views everything in the school day as affecting values and character. The way in which sports are conducted, grades are allotted, teachers behave, and corridors monitored all send moral messages. If a school wants to instill values such as respect and responsibility, the messages have to be consistent.
In short, the school itself must embody good character. It must be a civil, just, and caring environment in which the values that are preached are practiced. It must be a community that helps students form caring attachments to adults and to each other. These attachments will nurture a student’s desire to learn and to be a good person.
My work with teachers and schools over the past 25 years has led me to develop a model of comprehensive character education that includes 12 classroom and schoolwide strategies. In Educating for Character (Lickona, 1991), I described each of these strategies in detail and provided supporting research. Let me briefly illustrate 9 of these 12 components here.
1. Having The Teacher Act as Caregiver, Moral Model, and Moral Mentor. This first strategy calls upon the educator to teach morality by treating students with love and respect. It also calls upon the teacher to set a good example in many ways (by being well prepared, for example), to directly teach and encourage moral behavior, and to correct disrespectful or irresponsible behavior through individual guidance and group discussion.
Example: Teacher Molly Angelini makes courtesy an important value in her fifth-grade classroom. She models courtesy in how she speaks to her students. She requires students to apologize in writing if they call a classmate a name. She teaches them to say, “Pardon me?” instead of “What?” when they wish something repeated. When they go to lunch, she teaches them to greet the cafeteria workers by name and thank them when they put the food on their tray. And she teaches her children that all these behaviors are not mechanical gestures but meaningful ways of respecting other people.
2. Creating a Moral Community. Students need caring relationships with adults, but they also need caring relationships with each other. When students are part of a caring classroom community, they feel valued as persons. When they are challenged to practice respect and care in their everyday peer relations, these values begin to become part of their characters.
Example: Hal Urban, who teaches high school history and psychology, does three simple things at the start of each class that take only 5 minutes but go a long way toward developing a cohesive classroom community based on mutual respect and support. First, he asks, “Who has good news?” After the sharing of good news, he asks, “Would anyone like to affirm anyone else?” Students become more and more comfortable doing that. Finally, he asks students to take a seat different from the one they had in the previous class and take a minute to get to know their new neighbor. At the end of the semester, on course evaluations, students say that one thing they will remember about the course 10 years from now is the way Mr. Urban began each class.
In developing a moral classroom community, teachers also need to promote kindness and prevent cruelty. The STOP Violence Coalition publishes a book of activities called Kindness Is Contagious . . . Catch It! (Ziegenhorn & Unell, 1992) that gives many practical strategies for promoting considerate actions and reducing the verbal peer abuse that causes conflicts, breeds disrespect, and quickly undermines positive classroom relations.
3. Using Moral Discipline. Moral discipline means using the creation and enforcement of rules as opportunities to foster moral reasoning, self-control, voluntary compliance with rules, and a generalized respect for others.
Example: On the first day of school, Kim McConnel puts her sixth graders in groups of four. She asks each group to write down, on a large sheet of paper, classroom rules that will help them:
Get work done
Be glad we’re here
When they are finished, the small groups tape their lists of suggested rules on the blackboard. Drawing from all the lists, the teacher helps the class come up with a list that will serve as “our class rules.”
Regardless of whether or not students help to create the rules, the teacher using moral discipline ensures that students understand the moral basis of the classroom rules. A high school mathematics teacher explained his approach this way:
I tell my students that I have only two rules:
Everybody respects each other and
Come prepared for class every day - which is a form of respect for me, your classsmates, and yourself.
If you violate one of these rules, I will stop and point out the rule. You will need to apologize to the person you were disrespectful toward.
With moral discipline, consequences for rule-breaking seek to teach a moral lesson (for example, why the offense was wrong); require the student, whenever possible, to make reparation; and develop the student’s self-control and willingness to follow the rule in the future.
4. Creating a Democratic Classroom Environment. This means involving students on a regular basis in shared decision making that increases their responsibility for making the class a good place to be and to learn. The chief means of creating a democratic classroom is the class meeting in which the whole class is involved in interactive discussion and problem solving. The class meeting contributes to character development by providing a forum where students” thoughts are heard and valued and by practicing a support structure for understanding, internalizing, and practicing respect and responsibility.
Example: Carl Fospero, a 20-year-old graduate student in education, was asked to take over an unruly class (Introductory Spanish) of high school students whose regular teacher had suddenly died. In the month that followed the teacher’s death, the students – a low-achieving group with a history of behavior problems – had become uncontrollable. They went through four substitute teachers in 4 weeks.
When Fospero came into the class, the first thing he did was to ask every student to take out a sheet of paper and write him a letter, responding to two questions: What are your feelings about the class? How can we make it better?
Students complained that other substitute teachers had been throwing worksheets at them, they couldn’t keep up with the material, they didn’t understand Spanish, they often felt embarrassed when they didn’t know an answer, and so on.
Fospero read portions of the students' letters aloud, using them as a springboard for a discussion of how to improve the course. They decided to slow down the pace of instruction to make sure no one got lost. They decided to make time during each class for cooperative learning – such as conversational Spanish between partners – which students found less threatening. Fospero said he also wanted to try some new things they hadn’t done before, such as writing a play in Spanish and performing and videotaping it. The class also started to write and publish a class newspaper in Spanish. They used their class meetings to plan these new projects, assign responsibilities, and monitor progress and problems.
Students' behavior and learning improved dramatically. Teacher Fospero had achieved this by applying a widely known but much-neglected educational principle: Involve students in making decisions about – and sharing responsibility for – the life of the classroom. The class meeting has been used effectively with students as young as kindergarten age.
5. Teaching Values Through the Curriculum. There are countless opportunities for teachers to use the ethically rich content of academic subjects such as literature, history, and science as a vehicle for teaching values and examining moral questions. Here, the teacher’s question is: What are the natural intersections between the curriculum I wish to cover and the values I wish to teach?
There are outstanding published programs that illustrate how to do this. One is the Heartwood Ethics Curriculum for Children (Childs & Wood, 1990). This award-winning program uses multicultural children's literature to foster seven character attributes affirmed by cultures around the world: courage, loyalty, justice, respect, hope, honesty, and love. Heartwood makes it clear that multiculturalism doesn’t have to mean “multi-morality"; rather, it can lead us to discover the universal values that underlie cultural differences and that express our common humanity. For each of the seven attributes, the Heartwood program provides six children's books (folktales, hero stories, legends, and modern classics from different cultures) along with interdisciplinary activities that develop children's understanding of the particular value and how to apply it.
When the class finishes studying a particular character attribute, all the children, at a moment of their own choosing, look in the classroom mirror and ask themselves if they have shown that attribute (for example, “How have I shown courage?” or “How have I been a respectful person?”). Then the child takes his or her Heartwood Journal and writes a personal answer to that question. This encourages children to act upon the ethical insights emerging from their reading and discussion of the value-laden literature.
Facing History and Ourselves (Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation, 1980) is another much acclaimed curriculum, initially developed for eighth graders and later adopted to high school and college levels as well. This 8-week social studies curriculum uses history, films, and guest lectures (including talks by death camp survivors) to investigate the Nazi and Armenian holocausts. Along the way, it has students look within themselves to examine the human tendency toward prejudice, scapegoating, and even hatred.
An experimental study of this curriculum found that Facing History students were significantly superior in their understanding of how individuals' decisions are affected by their society and in the complexity of their reasoning about issues such as leadership, exclusion, and conflict resolution.
6. Using Cooperative Learning. Whereas curriculum-based values education teaches values and develops character through the subject matter content, cooperative learning does this through the instructional process. It says to the teacher: “Take what you would normally teach, teach it through cooperative learning for at least part of every day, and you will be teaching values and academics at the same time.”
Cooperative learning, which can be done in pairs or small groups, contributes to character in many ways. It teaches students the value of cooperation; builds community in the classroom (reducing conflict, the research shows, and fostering friendships across racial and ethnic lines); and teaches basic life skills such as communicating and working together.
Example: In a sixth-grade classroom in Montreal, Quebec, a teacher faced the most divisive group she had ever taught. The class was torn apart by racial conflict; Blacks and Whites exchanged insults and physically assaulted each other during recess and after school.
The school psychologist observed the class and recommended that the teacher set up structured cooperative learning groups. Put together children who have trouble getting along, he said. Give them joint assignments and projects with roles for all members. Monitor them closely. Most importantly, stick with the groups even if they don’t seem to be working in the beginning.
The teacher started having students work together – usually in threes or fours – in all subjects for part of each day. They worked on math problems in groups, researched social studies questions in groups, practiced reading to each other in groups, and so on.
"It took them 2 months to really make this work,” the teacher said, “but they finally got it together. Moreover, their test scores went up.” Mastering the skills of cooperative learning is a gradual, developmental process for both teacher and students, but the academic and character development benefits that have been documented at all grade levels justify the effort.
7. Developing the “Conscience of Craft.” The literature on moral and character education often treats moral learning and academic learning as separate spheres. But academic work and learning have moral meaning. Work is one of the most basic ways we affect the lives of others and contribute to the human community. Moreover, when students are not working to the best of their ability in school, they are learning bad moral habits – laziness, lack of selfdiscipline, indifference to standards, evasion of responsibility – that will likely carry over into their adult lives. Teachers who develop students” capacity for disciplined work typically combine high expectations and high support.
Example: Anne Ritter is the kind of teacher who believes that every child can learn. As a new teacher in her school,she taught a class of first graders, 85% of whom came from families below the poverty line. She astonished fellow teachers by getting 90% of her class up to grade level in reading and math. Her comment: “It’s the job.”
When I visited her classroom, a list of classroom rules written in large letters was posted in the front. The first rule was: “Always do your best in everything.” On the wall was a sign: A PERSON WILL SELF-DESTRUCT WITHOUT A GOAL. The “value of the month,” featured on the class bulletin board, was AMBITION, defined by Johnson and Johnson (1988) as “hard work directed toward a worthwhile goal.”
8. Encouraging Moral Reflection. This strategy focuses on developing the several qualities that make up the cognitive side of character: being morally aware, understanding objectively worthwhile moral values, being able to take the perspective of others, being able to reason morally, and being able to make thoughtful moral self-knowledge, including the capacity for self-criticism.
Bringing this knowing side of character to maturity is one of the most difficult challenges of character education. It requires clear ethical thinking by the teacher as well as a sophisticated set of teaching skills.
Teachers can foster moral reflection through reading, research, essay writing, journal keeping, discussion, and debate. At the secondary level, a promising approach to developing moral reflection through controversial issues is called “structured academic controversy.” Developed by cooperative learning experts David and Roger Johnson (1988) this approach defines controversies as problems to be solved rather than win-lose situations.
The teacher assigns students to groups of four, composed of two, two-person “advocacy teams.” Within each group, one team is assigned the responsibility of advocating one position (for example, that there should be more government regulation of hazardous waste disposal), and the other team is given the task of arguing the opposite position (that there should be less regulation). Both teams use background information supplied by the teacher.
In the course of the week, each team must do a position switch and argue for the position it originally opposed. Finally, the four group members synthesize what they see as the best information and reasoning from both sides into a consensus solution and write and submit a group report. Following that, each student takes an individual test that holds everyone accountable for learning the information and arguments on both sides of the issue.
Ten years of research on the academic controversy process finds that students gain in their perspective-taking abilities and demonstrate greater mastery of the subject matter than is true with either debate or individualistic learning formats.
9. Teaching Conflict Resolution. Teaching students how to resolve conflicts without force or intimidation is a vitally important part of character education for two reasons: Conflicts not settled fairly will prevent or erode a moral community in the classroom; and without conflict resolution skills, students will be morally handicapped in their interpersonal relationships now and later in life, and they may end up contributing to violence in school and society There are a great many ways to teach conflict resolution skills in the classroom.
Example: Susan Skinner, a kindergarten teacher at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, South Carolina, uses two methods she finds effective. When two children have a conflict, she stops the action and uses it as a teachable moment. She invites two other children (not the ones involved in the dispute) to come to the front of the class to role play a positive solution to the conflict. She then asks the whole class for their suggestions. Finally, the two children who were involved in the conflict are invited to act out a positive solution that draws on what they have just seen and heard.
When one child has hurt another, Skinner teaches a reconciliation ritual. She instructs the offending child to say, “I am very sorry – will you please forgive me?” If the victim judges the apology sincere, that child is instructed to respond, “I do forgive you.”
These behavior patterns have the best chance of becoming part of a child's character when they are learned early and practiced often. Effective training is still possible at the adolescent level, where the stakes are even higher because conflicts more easily explode into deadly violence.
Example: Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Smith, a Harvard professor and physician, has developed a 10-week mini-course that teaches teenagers what causes violent conflict and how to avoid it. Said one 18-year-old who took the course at a Boston high school: “I had my share of fights, and I learned how to avoid them by talking things out. Otherwise, I could lose my life over something really stupid like stepping on someone’s shoe and not wanting to say, “Excuse me.”
Schoolwide Strategies for Character
The preceding examples demonstrate that it is clearly possible for the individual teacher acting within the classroom to foster good character. But teachers feel more secure, and their efforts are greatly enhanced, if the whole school – and ideally the community as well – is working to promulgate, model, teach, celebrate, and enforce high standards of respect and responsibility.
A comprehensive approach therefore calls upon schools to implement three schoolwide strategies. These are:
Creating a positive moral culture in the school. This involves developing a total moral environment or schoolwide ethos (through the leadership of the principal, schoolwide discipline, a schoolwide sense of community, meaningful student government, a respectful and cooperative moral community among adults, and the use of time at all levels to discuss moral concerns) that supports the values taught in classrooms.
Fostering caring beyond the classroom. This means using positive role models to inspire altruistic behavior and providing opportunities at every grade level to perform acts of school and community service.
Recruiting parents and the community as partners in character education. School staff need to let parents know that the school considers them their child's first and most important moral teachers. The staff should give parents specific ways they can support the values the school is trying to teach and should seek the help of the community (including churches, businesses, local government, and the media) in promoting respect and responsibility.
Let me offer four examples of character education success stories that illustrate these schoolwide strategies.
Let’s Be Courteous, Let’s Be Caring. Several years ago, Winkelman Elementary School, which serves a diverse community north of Chicago (some children are from welfare families, others come to school in limousines), found itself increasingly unhappy with student attitudes and behavior. Fights and put-downs among children were common. Students would frequently “smart-off” ("I don’t have to listen to you!”) to teachers and other adults in the building.
To address this problem effectively, Winkelman's principal and faculty decided they needed a schoolwide approach. They launched a project called Let’s Be Courteous, Let’s Be Caring that emphasized the values of courtesy and caring at every opportunity: through photo displays in the corridors, discussions in classrooms, one-to-one conversations between teachers and children, school assemblies, citizenship awards, parent-teacher conferences that asked for parents' help at home, and service projects in the community.
A giant display inside the school entrance defined “courtesy” as
Saying please, thank you, you’re welcome, and excuse me;
Being a good listener;
Waiting your turn;
Working cooperatively; and
Being a good friend.
The moral environment at Winkelman steadily improved. When I visited the school, parents said fights are now very rare; children said that if you forgot your lunch, you could always count on somebody to give you some of theirs; and a veteran teacher who had taught in several other schools said that Winkelman was recognized in a Chicago-area competition for excellence in both academic achievement and character development.
A Middle-School Success Story. Vera White
is principal of Jefferson Junior High School in Washington, DC. She
Ninety percent of our students come from single-parent homes. When I arrived as principal, parents and the community felt they were losing the children. We met – administration, faculty, and parents – for a full year to prioritize our goals. We decided we needed a long-range plan. Each year would have a special theme.
Year 1 of the new effort focused on planning the objectives and strategies of the new character education program. Year 2 had the theme “attitude counts.” White explained, “We wanted students to have the idea that wherever you are – in school, at home, at the mall – your attitude makes a difference.”
Year 3 focused on conflict-resolution training. Year 4's theme was community service. “Our kids had been destroying the high-rise projects,” White said. “Now every student does community service.” She went on, “Our overall theme has been: how to be responsible.” For example, our students have to have assignment notebooks and use them in every class. We also set high expectations for our parents. Our parents must come to school for Back to School Night and for teacher-parent conferences during the year.”
Jefferson Junior High School now has a waiting list of 400 to 500 students. It has won two U.S. Department of Education awards. In the city of Washington, it has been recognized for having the highest student academic achievement, the greatest academic improvement, and the highest attendance rate (its attendance rate used to be one of the worst). There have been no student pregnancies during the past 5 years.
The No Put-downs Project. The No Put-downs Project, based in Syracuse, New York, is a response to rising school violence and racial and ethnic intolerance. It has three goals:
To create a school and home environment that recognizes the destructive effects of put-downs;
To reject the use of put-downs in all interpersonal interactions; and
To replace put-downs with healthy communication skills.
This 5-week curriculum developed by classroom teachers uses videos, posters, contests, role playing, and other activities to achieve these goals. The curriculum is reinforced throughout the school year.
One participating parent commented, “I see a noticeable difference in how much my child enjoys school.” Other parents reported that family members now catch each other ("Hey, Mom, that’s a put-down!”) when they slip.
Twenty-five elementary and middle schools in central New York are now implementing the No Put-downs Project. Several have already reported that discipline referrals and student fights are down for the first time in many years.
Participatory School Democracy. Another schoolwide character development strategy, greatly underused, challenges students to help govern the life of their school.
One of my favorite examples of this strategy comes from a school action project carried out by teacher Mary Ann Taylor when she took my graduate course, Teaching Moral Values. With some trepidation, she tackled the problem of her school cafeteria. She described it as “a war zone” where teacher aides yelled at children, students yelled at each other, food fights were common, and the place was a mess when students left.
Taylor set up a Cafeteria Council with elected student delegates from each classroom. Being an elected delegate meant you had to represent your constituency’s ideas, as expressed in class meetings.
At every grade level, classes held discussions: What are the characteristics of an ideal cafeteria? What should these rules be for cafeteria manners? Delegates carried their classrooms' views into the Cafeteria Council's weekly meetings, where they discussed these ideas with Taylor and the school's principal and shaped them into action proposals.
The Council also conducted a survey of all students, staff, and parents on how to improve the cafeteria. It solicited everyone’s ideas through a suggestion box and published a monthly newsletter reporting progress.
There were many positive outcomes: Student cafeteria behavior improved greatly; students were enthusiastic about improvements in the cafeteria; parent feedback was positive; a recycling project was begun; and, most important, the school decided to keep its new delegate system of democratic student government as a way to deal with other problems in the school environment.
Similar student government efforts have been carried out at the high school level to bring students into a larger role of responsibility for solving school problems. In the process, students are provided with the kind of opportunities for real-life moral action that develop the action side of character.
“The core problem facing our schools is a moral one,” wrote William Kilpatrick in Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong (1992, p. 225). “All other problems derive from it. If students don’t learn habits of courage and justice, curriculums designed to improve their self-esteem won’t stop the epidemic of extortion, bullying, and violence; neither will courses designed to make them more sensitive to diversity.”
Good character is what our children need and what our society needs. “Character,” the Greek philosopher Heraclitus asserted, “is destiny.” If we wish to have any hope of reversing our nation's downward slide into an amoral society, we must make character education our highest educational priority.
Thomas Lickona is a developmental psychologist, professor of education, and director of the Center for the Fourth and Fifth Rs (Respect and Responsibility) at the State University of New York, Cortland. His books include the Christopher Award “winning Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility (1991; New York: Bantam), Raising Good Children (1983, New York: Bantam), and a book for teenagers written with his wife, Judith: Sex, Love, and You: Making the Right Decision (1994; Notre Dame, IN: Ave MariaPress).
The information in the first item is based on 1987 data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The information in the second item is from 1990 Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics.
Centers for Disease Control. (1992). Sexual behavior among high school students. U.S. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 411, 51–52.
Childs, F., & Wood, P. (1990). Heartwood ethics curriculum for children. Pittsburgh, PA: Heartwood Institute.
Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation. (1980). Facing history and ourselves. Brookline, MA: Author.
Graham, E. (1988, September 26). Values lessons return to the classroom. The Wall Street Journal, p. 25.
Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1988). Critical thinking through structured controversy. Educational Leadership.
Josephson Institution of Ethics (1990). The ethics of American youth. Marina del Rey, CA: Author
Kilpatrick, W. (1992). Why Johnny can’t tell right from wrong. New York: Simon &Schuster.
Lickona, T. (1991). Educating for character: How our schools can teach respect and responsibility. New York: Bantam.
Spielman, P. J. (1989, December 14). U.N. report: U.S. teens have most abortions. Cortland (NY) Standard, p. 24.
Ziegenhorn, D. W., & Unell, B. C. (1992). Kindness is contagious”. Catch it! A program guide for teaching school-age children respect, compassion, and kindness. Kansas City KS: STOP Violence Coalition of Kansas City.
This feature: Lickona, T. (1996). Teaching respect and responsibility. Reclaiming Children and Youth. Vol. 5 No.3 pp.143-151